What We Love About Spring
Winter may be winding down, but there are still many reasons to get out on your skis and snowboard this time of year. Spring brings less crowds, deeper discounts and sunshine galore. Here are 10 reasons we love spring skiing and snowboarding.
Many people grab their bikes and golf clubs as soon as the weather starts warming up, which means resorts are empty this time of year. Take advantage of the less-crowded parks and slopes at your favorite resorts, many of which will remain open well into May and offer springtime discounts.
From outdoor concerts to costume galas to wacky contests, spring is the season for resorts to amp up their event schedule with action-packed weekends. Some of our favorites include the World Ski & Snowboard Festival at Whistler, British Columbia (shown here), the Pain McShlonkey Classic at Squaw Valley, Calif., Sunsation at Copper Mountain, Colo., and the Reggae Festival at Sugarloaf, Maine.
The Beauty of Corn
Second only to powder in the "favorite snow condition" category might just be corn, that deliciously grainy snow created by the perfect mix of slope aspect, warm temperatures and sunshine. Get it while you can -- during the right hours of the day -- before it all turns to mush.
Closing day at many resorts is unofficially "gaper day," where locals dress up in their most ridiculous outfits -- from 1980s one-pieces to glittery tutus and animal costumes, all while shredding on snowblades. Don't miss the action -- whether you're participating or just watching -- on the final week of the winter season.
Nothing screams spring like a good old-fashioned pond-skimming contest. Resorts like Vail, Colo. (pictured here), Canyons, Utah, and Stratton, Vt., do pond-skimming right: lively crowds, wacky costumes and a watery pond handcrafted for the most daring participants.
Safer Backcountry Conditions
While midwinter avalanche conditions can be scary, the spring usually lightens up, offering a more stable snowpack and more predictable conditions. Obviously, still use caution: Read your avalanche forecast, carry the proper safety gear (and know how to use it) and make smart decisions out there. But know that spring can offer a green light for more backcountry objectives.
Ditch the down coats and excessive wool base layers. It's time for riding in flannels, goggle tans and going straight from boots to flip-flops. Spring riding brings ample sunshine and warm temperatures -- just don't forget the sunscreen.
Just because it's spring doesn't mean winter is over yet. Sometimes the biggest storms of the year come in March and April. The best part is, you'll have the resort entirely to yourself.
With spring equinox in bloom, the days of shredding with glowing light well into the evenings are here. Build a backcountry booter and enjoy the many hours of daylight you'll have until till the sun dips below the horizon.
Epic Après Sessions
As soon as the shred day is over, the aprs session begins. From portable grills cooking burgers on truck tailgates to sun-drenched outdoor decks with live music, there's no better season than spring to relax outside with friends after a day on the hill.